Thursday, January 14, 2010

Fibromygalia & Raw Foods & a FREE colonic for the New Year

As part of an ongoing series about the nature of female reproductive illness disorders, I chose to interview Fatima, a colon hydrotherapist who suffered from fibroids for years until she radically changed her mind about her health and took it upon herself to heal. Enjoy the interview.

NK: When did you first get into raw foods and why?

FLW: I discovered raw foods 3 years ago. At the time, I was Health and Fitness Editor for Inspired Living Magazine. The Publisher pitched the idea of doing a story about the author of a newly released book called The Raw Food Detox Diet. The author was Manhattan based nutritionist Natalia Rose. I remember getting the book and looking at it like it was some foreign object. I had never heard of raw foods nor did I know anyone who lived this way. I decided to set an interview with Natalia for 2 weeks down the line in order to give myself time to review (and possibly find fault in the theory).

I don’t quite know why, but I was quite hostile at the idea of raw foods as a lifestyle. However, I decided to try a bit of the suggestions and protocol from the book and miraculously found myself 12 pounds thinner some 14 days later. This seemed like an amazing feat since I was struggling with uncontrollable weight issues (despite being a ‘health and fitness editor’) that were associated with a hypoactive thyroid. I was all in! The interview suddenly turned into this huge curiosity about so many things such as why I felt so good, why I was sleeping better than I had in years and why I had an elimination of body pain associated with a fibromyalgia diagnosis years before. How has your journey into raw foods benefited you? In 2003, I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndromes. This journey has changed the very fabric of my life in that I have been symptom free for 3 years now. I have lost a total of 60 pounds and kept it off. My thyroid is normal. I used to have fibrocystic breastsand severe PMS which are no longer issues. I now have a new sense of purpose that is deeply rooted in a self love, spirituality, balance, acceptance, compassion and a deep sense of joyful contentment. There is no way that a person can indulge in this lifestyle (even a little bit) and not be changed on so many levels. I am grateful that raw found me. It was an answer to prayers for healing.

NK: You are colon hydrotherapist who advocates for raw foods?

FLW: Absolutely! I am indeed a raw foods enthusiast! When working with your clients, do you recommend a raw foods diet and if so, how do you get them started? I generally encourage cutting down on the meat (or soy-based products if they are vegan) and transitioning into raw foods. I try to meet the client on whatever page he or she is on. I am thoughtful of not trying to overwhelm or become overly dogmatic. I am not into indoctrinating people into the ‘Church of Rawligion”. Trust me, there are more than enough members of that sect. However what I do is share my story and allow the fact that they feel better after 2 or 3 colonics to be the launching pad to their curiosity. Once I get a client interested based on having had a favorable experience, I then know that I have their ear and they become more open to the ideas that I present. I am also a raw foods instructor, chef and Holistic Health Consultant so I realize the value of just really listening to the client in order to determine their needs. If I listen really closely and stop trying to push my agenda of raw, I find that the client will always eventually arrive at the place where they want to know more about raw foods.

NK: How does raw foods benefit the colon?

FLW: I find that when we keep it simple in the form our daily intake, the body will really step up to the plate and do the rest. I feel that high levels of raw foods can really allow a person to thrive in terms of colon health.

NK: I love getting colonics. But sometimes I think getting too many of them can be harmful to one's health mostly because after I get a colonic sometimes, I feel drained. Can you talk a bit about any harmful effects that colonics may have on the body or how one should approach getting into a routine with colon hydrotherapy?

FLW: For those who are not familiar with colon hydrotherapy it is also known as colonics, colon irrigation, or high enema. It is a non invasive process which removes waste, impacted fecal material and toxins thus allowing inner cleansing to the colon or large intestine. A soothing flow of purified, warm water is instilled in the colon through a pencil thin nozzle (rectal tube) which is inserted about one inch into the rectum to cleanse and evacuate the contents of the lower colon. The device is designed to allow easy, natural evacuation to take place without the use of pressurized water. We use a gravity fed system which allows the temperature and the flow of water to be safely regulated during the procedure.

I failed also to mention that I get so many “all raw” people who come to me and are terribly constipated. Improper food combining and high levels of dehydrated foods further exacerbate the problem. They assume that because they have been raw for a year or more that they are super clean. But what they fail to realize is that they have not cleansed at a cellular level. The cells generate according to whatever is being put into or has been put into the body. Also, it’s important to understand that the body accumulates toxins from the environment too. We accumulate toxins from the very air that we breathe, the stuff we put on our body in the form of soaps, cosmetics and toiletries. We gather internal toxins from the water that we drink and even the soil that our food is grown in.

It is becoming more obvious that even “organic” food can contain levels of toxicity because of what we have done to our environment. Toxic fumes from chemical plants, smoke etc get into the earht’s atmosphere. When it rains, that stuff goes right back into the soil that our farmers try so hard to maintain the integrity of.

Sure many will argue that it is such a small amount, but when you consider the average life span of humans, and do the math, it results in years of waste slowing going into the body.
Indeed it is about so much more than what we eat.
Often times, the fatigue that some people feel after a colonic can be a direct result of the toxic waste trying to get out of their body: the cells, the tissues, the blood. Once the body is given the green light via some type of attempt at a cleansing regime, it will begin to respond with signs to let you know that it (the body) has begun its cleansing process. These cleansing signs can be anything from headache to feeling as though one is catching the flu. People assume this to be a bad thing and back off of the cleansing process because they think that the thing (in this case) colonics is bad for them.

Because you are using purified filtrated water during the session (some therapists use other additives such as coffee, wheat grass or acidophilus), there is no great risk aside from doing them too often and without taking a probiotic to replenish and provide an atmosphere where the colon can create good micro flora or bacteria. I always encourage folks to consider a probiotic (there are vegan based ones available for those who do not consume flesh foods). A trained colon hydrotherapist can make recommendations on the amount of colonics suggested and how often they should be administered.

NK: Can someone with colon cancer get a colonic, yes or no, and why or why not?

FLW: Colon Hydrotherapy is a small part of a much larger picture. A colonic is not a one stop shop to ideal health. It is a part of a much bigger puzzle. This puzzle includes but is not limited to lifestyle, diet, mental, spiritual and emotional health. It is ideal for holistic measures.
According to the International Association of Colon Therapists, by the time, a person has developed acute and chronic symptoms such as colon cancer, it is a contraindication. In other words it is not advisable. Colon hydrotherapists are not medical professionals or practitioners of medicine, so, to act outside of the scope of practice is a big no, no.

What we do in the form of diet and cleansing as preventive measures is much more important than many think. Cleansing the body with food, herbs, colonics etc is one of the most loving and proactive thing that you can do to lessen the possibility of developing illnesses such as cancer.

NK: How have you seen colon hydrotheraphy benefit your clients?

FLW: Colonics improves the muscle tone of the intestinal walls, which in turn assists in the absorption of nutrients into your body. Many report benefits such as clearer skin, increased libido, more energy, better bowel elimination, improvement of symptoms such as gas and indigestion, fresher breath, improved sleep, decrease in body aches and joint pains, less cravings for sugar and carbs, to name a few.

NK: You do a lot of work fibromyalgia? How has work encompassed that? How do you think raw foods can help facilitate recovery. Where does fibromyalgia come from? How would a colonic help?

FLW: Fibromyalgia is something that has personally touched my life. I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia Syndrome in 2003. Fibromyalgia is an autoimmune, neurotransmitter illness that is characterized by unexplained full body pain, chronic fatigue, anxiety, depression, sleep issues such as insomnia (or the inability to stay sleep), short term memory loss, to name a few. Individuals who are diagnosed generally experience constipation, irritable bowel syndrome and other digestive issues. It is believed to have no known cause and no known cure.
I have found that for myself and others who are diagnosed that colonics can greatly improve the quality of life. What many do not know is that over half of the immune system is located in the colon and so, an autoimmune illness like FM, Arthritis, Lupus and others can be greatly helped when you get to the core which is the immune system. With colon hydrotherapy, you are helping to alleviate the burden to the colon that is a result of years of toxicity, candida, mucous build up, improper food combining, and over indulgence in processed and fried foods, a lack of living and raw foods, and way too much sugar, caffeine and junk food in general.

NK: You also make music. How did you discover your gift or talent for music and how do you use it in your work?

FLW: Yes. I do make music. I have been singing since I was a little girl. It is a core part of who I am as an expressive being walking the planet. My holistic healing CD, ”Purge & Re-Member” is my solo effort.

Prior to becoming a colon therapist, I spent years in the entertainment industry. I was a Stellar Award nominated gospel singer with a group called Spiritual Pieces and an NAACP nominated actress with credits such as Beverly Hills 90210, Divas, and Seinfeld to name a few.
While I had great success in both areas and a pretty lofty resume, it became painfully clear that I was out of balance. Years of jet setting and not taking good care finally caught up with me. I knew that I was no longer operating in purpose. I was depressed, spiritually conflicted, overly committed, and stressed all of the time. I eventually started getting sick and developed walking pneumonia, tonsillitis, recurring bouts of yeast and urinary tract infections. This led to a series of antibiotic treatments which further comprised by immunity and health.

Despite outward appearances, living this way was no longer an option for me. Because of the pain and all that I was dealing with in terms of my dwindling health, it got to the point where I could no longer hear the music in my head and so I put music and acting on the back burner for awhile and focused on getting better.

After a year on meds, I decided to go the alternative & natural route. I began purging, cleansing and detoxifying my body (including my thoughts), discovered herbs, made lifestyle changes, and in 2003, discovered the many healing benefits of eating raw foods, I ultimately began hearing the melody ringing in my head again and started writing my journey as a cathartic way of healing. It was during this healing process that “Purge & Re-Member”, my holistic healing CD was born!

I now sing a different type of “good news”. I sing what feels right and resonates with me. It is music that causes listeners to go to that place within them to ponder and discover what is noble and true for them personally. I call it holistic soul.

NK: What's on your plate today?

FLW: Today I am rockin’ some fresh, organic and locally grown okra marinated in lemon, garlic sauce. It’s one of my favorite and easiest things to consume when in season. I would be remiss if I did not also mention that fact that okra is amazing when it comes to raising the bar where the “poop factor” is concerned. LOL! As I am a huge fan of juicing, I also had some carrot, ginger, apple, beet, spinach juice this morning. I call it “Back to my Roots”. YUMMY!

NK: What are your favorite foods?

FLW: Okra, pink lady apples, collards, swiss and rainbow chard, fresh figs, cucumber and all squash especially zucchini.

NK: What is your vision for your business and for your personal life?

FLW: How do you want to continue to serve those in regards to their health? In terms of my personal life, I envision being a life-long learner and always staying humble and teach-able. I refuse to get caught up to the tune of self hype. As I am living and breathing , there is still so much that I can learn. I plan to continue on this path of wellness and spiritual unfolding. I would not change my journey for anything.

In terms of my business, I’d like to see Holistic Life, LLC evolve into a premier resource for holistic health edu-tainment. This will include books, lecturing, more music, the internet and online education forums, and making use of mainstream media in a way that will foster holistic living. I see myself partnering with other professionals as well.

I believe that we all teachers unto ourselves and to one another. When I see you succeed, I feel successful. Wellness is a core part of success and it is my objective that it be contagious. When we feel good in our bodies, we have the strength, fortitude, clarity and spiritual resolve to create and accomplish anything that we choose in life. This thought is the backdrop of why I do what I do and how I will continue to serve others.

NK: Any particular foods that you recommend for fibromyalgia recovery?

FLW: I think that anyone dealing with fibromyalgia can benefit from a diet of at least 50% raw with the goal of going further. It seems impossible to experience life force energy if one is putting dead, life- draining things into the body. Animal products are acidic and contributes to inflammation within the body of a person with fibromyalgia. Other foods that don’t serve one’s recovery process are white sugar products, white flour, dairy, caffeine, lack of water and processed foods.

I recommend choosing fruit and vegetables. I would encourage incorporating lots of ( green …the color of healing) leafy vegetables. I would be remiss if I did not also note that while fruit is super cleansing, I would recommend choosing low sugar content fruit such as berries, strawberries, and granny smith apples for at least 90 days when first starting a fibro recovery wellness protocol. This will help starve off yeast in the body which studies have shown is a huge factor for people with fibromyalgia. There are also herbs that one can take to help facilitate this process as well.

While I’d love to see an “ all raw world”. I realize that everyone has his or her own path. It is my objective to be as patient with others as I am with myself. Currently, I indulge in a high raw food indulgence with my general intake being about 80% with some months being all raw. This feels good for me right now, but I know that as my body continues to get cleaner so too will my tastes and food choices.

NK: Any last comments that you have for our readers, please write them here.

FLW: No comments just high thoughts, loving wishes and continued health!

For more information about Fatima and her practice, please visit her online Take a look at her amazing transformational photos!

Fatima is giving away lots of FREE gifts to our readers.

For those who live in the Los Angeles, CA area, she is giving away ONE FREE colonic session, as well as $20 off for an additional five (5) people and ONE FREE copy of her signature holistic CD, Purge and Remember. So that's a total of seven (7) possible winners.

In order to qualify, you must respond to the blog post with your thoughts about the interview, along with your name, and email address so that we may contact you, and then we will take everyone's name, put them in a hat and announce the winner on Monday, January 18. In order to qualify for the FREE and discounted colonics, you must live in the Los Angeles or surrounding area in order to receive either the FREE colonic, or the discounted ones. We are giving a TOTAL of ONE FREE COLONIC and FIVE discounted colonics. I will be collecting the names and pulling them randomly to select the winners. That's a great deal for the New Year!


  1. As I read the interview, I heard an echo of my beliefs and thoughts coming back at me. My name is Madame Athena and I am also a Holistic Health Consultant as well as a photo-journalistic Photographer. I am also a friend of Akiba Solomon who I believe is a friend of Nwenna.

    I found the interview to be empowering and honest. I have been working with a few clients who are interested in colonics. I will defnitely refer them. I just relocated to Los Angeles from St. Lucia and it was refreshing to see individuals of like minds striving for better health and physical, emotional and spiritual well being. My email address is

  2. As someone who has never had a colonic before, this interview was very helpful. My reason for going raw was because of my poor digestive health, so I am constantly searching for ways to improve my colon health. And what better way to learn then from a colon hydrotherapist who practices what she preaches! I also loved how she talked about what foods helped with her fibromyalgia; knowing what foods/herbs are healing to the body is always beneficial! Thank you for a fantastic interview Newenna!

    My name is Alysha Maiorelli and I live in Orange County, CA.

  3. This interview was one more step that I needed in my path to optimal physical health. I have been introduced to raw foods before. I ate strictly raw foods for 2 weeks last summer as part of my attempt to heal my uterine fibroids and ovarian cysts. I have been taught about the importance of colon health but I have never acted on that knowledge. Reading this interview, along with a conversation I had recently, lets me know it is time to act on this knowledge and begin to focus on cleansing my colon of toxins and incorporating a higher percentage of raw foods into my diet on a consistent basis. Thank you for being a part of my healthy renewal!

    Fanta Hairston,

  4. Nwenna, instead of wheat grass I drink barley grass juice from a live powder (easy to fix) and other green protein. I've lost 45 pounds and still losing. I find the fat from nuts and a weight loss smoothie with lots of fiber helps give me a feeling of being satisfied so I don't overeat.